“When it happened, it was like what a miracle this is amazing. Here I am, I have a new start in life.”
Thomas became a part of the ACOF community in 2020 after experiencing homelessness for almost four years, after losing his job, business, home, the support of his family and the development of health issues.
Thomas moved to the state of California at the age of five and quickly began a journey that would prove to be tumultuous and uncertain. Thomas grew up in a middle-upper class home and lived a normal American life, but things did not remain so calm. As an adult, Thomas was diagnosed with cancer and several other physical disabilities, finding himself in a downward spiral that would lead Thomas to become homeless.
Thomas recalls having an excruciating experience while homeless and feeling a sense of humiliation and shame. While homeless, Thomas did his best to help others and advocated for the homeless. “While I was out there, I tried to use my skills and talents to try and help other homeless people.” Thomas mentions that living homeless was very humiliating, “it is sad because it is very very difficult to get off the streets. They say that people don’t want to work, that they want to stay home, and they want to be in the streets. In my case, that was not true at all…it was so degrading, it started to affect my mental health.”
Thomas now has a second chance at life in a stable home that provides support along the way. “Now that I live here, I have security, I have somewhere to park, people here are very friendly, everyone tries to help one another, and there is good communication. I cannot say enough good things about this. I am beginning to feel better about myself, my physical and mental health are coming together. We need more, we need more buildings, and more people to get together to make this happen so that we have a great society, a great community.”